Balkenende and Blair join forces on climate

The Dutch and British prime ministers have joined forces to call for an international debate on climate change, news agency ANP reports this afternoon.

Jan Pieter Balkenende and Tony Blair, in Finland for a meeting with other EU leaders, have reportedly written to member states warning that there were just 10 or 15 years to go before the world reached a catastrophic point of no return. ‘We have to negotiate quickly,’ the two said in their letter. EU leaders are meeting in Lahti, Finland this weekend to discuss energy policy, among other issues. ‘Every debate about energy must also include climate change and our economy, because they are inextricably linked,’ the prime ministers’ letter said. Europe could play a leading role in the search for less polluting forms of energy, the prime ministers wrote. The letter also included concrete proposals for change. For example, Europe should invest more in alternative fuels and wind power. The Netherlands has just announced plans to phase out subsidies for wind power production. The letter did not mention nuclear power – a controversial issue in many EU countries – but both prime ministers are known to favour building more nuclear power stations. ANP also reported that Balkenende admitted to having seen Al Gore’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth which shows the effects of global warming. Most of the Netherlands is set to vanish.

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